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Washington, DC – Representatives Michael McCaul and Gregory W. Meeks, Ranking Member and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding reports of Russian mercenaries accused of human rights abuses in the Central African Republic:

“We are appalled by reports of rampant human rights abuses committed by the Kremlin-controlled mercenaries of the Vagner Group and Central African Armed Forces against civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR). We urge the Biden Administration and the UN to further investigate Vagner Group’s alleged role in extrajudicial killings, rape, and other atrocities against CAR civilians, as well as encourage our international partners to fully reject the Kremlin’s implausible denial of ultimate responsibility for these heinous crimes. The UN must take immediate action to maintain the integrity of its peacekeeping mission in CAR and address credible allegations of collaboration between UN peacekeepers and Russian mercenaries who are preying on CAR’s civilians. This activity is unacceptable and erodes the trust of the very civilians who deserve protection.”